Originally Posted by Foxhunter
I agree with CJ - I would add that with cantering I would start him on a circle, ask for one stride of canter and immediately trot keeping on the circle, then a stride of canter and trot - using the correct aids. Then two strides and trot, all this gets them anticipating the down transition as well as helping them balance.
i drive my students crazy with the three stride rule - if your horse can come to the requested gait within three strides, they are not on the aids. ;)
Three stride lessons are VERY educational on just how much your horse is (or isn't) on the aids! The canter circle exercise above is a great one!